Government Can Examine Your Laptop

Monday, 04 Aug 2008 12:01 PM

By Jim Meyers

  Comment  |
   Contact  |
  Print   |
    A   A  
  Copy Shortlink

Federal agents at the border may seize a traveler’s laptop computer and other electronic devices and hold them for an unspecified period of time even if they have no reason to suspect any wrongdoing.

Under newly disclosed policies, dated July 16 and issued by two agencies of the Department of Homeland Security, officials may also share copies of the laptop’s contents with other agencies and private entities for language translation, data decryption or other reasons, The Washington Post reports.

The rules apply to anyone entering the U.S. — including American citizens — and cover hard drives, flash drives, cellphones, iPods, pagers, beepers, and video and audio tapes.

The policies state that agents may “detain” laptops “for a reasonable period of time,” and the action may take place “absent individualized suspicion.”

An increasing number of international travelers have reported that their laptops and other devices have been seized, for months in at least one case, according to The Post.

Computers contain a vast amount of private information about family, finances and health, which could easily be copied and stored in government databases, the Electronic Frontier Foundation has complained.

Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff wrote in a recent opinion piece that laptops and other electronic devices contain “the most dangerous contraband,” and said searches have discovered “violent jihadist materials” and child pornography.

DHS spokeswoman Amy Kudwa told AFP, "Since the founding of the republic, we have had broad authority to conduct searches at the border to prevent the entrance into this country of dangerous persons and goods."

But Tim Sparapani, senior legislative counsel at the American Civil Liberties Union, said: "Any smart terrorist won't bother putting dangerous images or documents on their computer or cellphone or Blackberry or digital camera. Rather they'll put them on a remote server and access them when they have entered the U.S."

Sen. Russell Feingold, D-Wis., who is probing the government’s border search practices, said “the policies that have been disclosed are truly alarming.”

© 2014 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

  Comment  |
   Contact  |
  Print   |
  Copy Shortlink
Around the Web
Join the Newsmax Community
Please review Community Guidelines before posting a comment.
>> Register to share your comments with the community.
>> Login if you are already a member.
blog comments powered by Disqus
 
Email:
Country
Zip Code:
Privacy: We never share your email.
 
Follow Newsmax
Like us
on Facebook
Follow us
on Twitter
Add us
on Google Plus
Around the Web
Top Stories
You May Also Like

Morici: Obama Could Stifle North Korea's Shakedown of Sony

Monday, 22 Dec 2014 09:16 AM

The American people now have a censor , North Korean Dictator Kim Jong-un. And they can thank President Obama's failure  . . .

Christie Presses Obama to Demand Cuba Returns Trooper's Killer

Monday, 22 Dec 2014 09:12 AM

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is petitioning President Barack Obama to demand that Cuba return a woman convicted of kil . . .

Sony's Lawyer: 'The Interview Will Be Distributed'

Monday, 22 Dec 2014 09:06 AM

Sony Pictures is planning to release the controversial movie “The Interview” at some stage, the company’s lawyer says. . . .

Most Commented

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

 
NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
©  Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved